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2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup: Bizarre sculpture installed outside Salt Lake Stadium, Twitter goes crazy

The sculpture, that vaguely resembles Cristiano Ronaldo's freekick stance, became a topic of denigration, as soon as it was installed.

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News 06 Oct 2017, 13:56 IST
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The Sculpture is apparently designed by Mamata Bannerjee, as can be seen on the plate below the sculpture
The sculpture is apparently designed by Mamata Bannerjee, as can be seen on the plate below the sculpture.

What's the story?

Popularly referred to as the Salt Lake stadium, the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan (VYBK) is a multipurpose stadium in Kolkata, West Bengal. The stadium is huge, and has seen a complete makeover in preparation for the U-17 World Cup.

Recently, the stadium was in the news due to the fact that when it was handed over to the FIFA Local Organizing Committee, the officials found it in a state comparable to international standards.

A more recent development at the VYBK stadium, was however, not welcomed with wide open arms. A gigantic sculpture, resembling Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo's free-kick stance, has been installed outside the Salt Lake stadium. However, instead of inspiring people, it is horrifying them. When the images of the said sculpture were shared, Twitter went absolutely bonkers.

In case you didn't know..

Salt Lake Stadium is considered to be one of the biggest, and most beautiful stadiums in India
Salt Lake Stadium is considered to be one of the biggest, and most beautiful stadiums in India.
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The Salt Lake Stadium is the biggest football arena in India, and it will be hosting 10 of the U-17 World Cup matches. The stadium is the largest in India and could once house more than 1,20,000 spectators. Even after the renovation, it will be seating an overwhelming capacity of 66,000 people.

It is renowned for being the home ground for Kolkata giants Mohun Bagan and East Bengal. The iconic stadium has also been blessed by the presence of legends, like Oliver Kahn and Argentine superstar Lionel Messi, even Diego Maradono.

The heart of the matter

In preparation for the U-17 World Cup, the stadium underwent a total renovation. Recently, a sculpture was installed outside the stadium, and although it was intended to inspire the fans, it seems to have had the exact opposite effect.


The image of a half man with a globe in the place of his torso, and two unusual sized footballs sticking to his feet, took people by surprise - and they weren't quite sure how to feel about this. This gigantic sclupture has been conceptualised and designed by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Bannerjee.

When the pictures made it to the internet, Twitter went berserk, as some people found it amusing, while some found it absolutely terryfying. While there were a few who also found it inspirational to witness the creativity of the Chief Minister, it can only be speculated how the visitor teams will feel, once they witness the art for themselves.

What's next?

The capacity was reduced from well over 1 lakh to around 80,000, and owing to security reasons, the official capacity for the U-17 World Cup came lower down to 66,687. The newly renovated stadium will be inaugurated by Mamata Bannerjee.

The VYBK stadium will host it's first match of the World Cup on October 8, between Chile and England, and Iraq and Mexico.

Author's Take

While we can only hope that the sculpture doesn't cause any disorientation for the players, it would be a real shame if it does. After all the reputation that VYBK has earned, we would hate to see visitors make fun of the much revered stadium. All judgements aside, we can't decide if the sculpture is a piece of art, or a disaster, so decide for yourself and let us know.

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